Due to its excellent strength-to-weight ratio, vibration-damping qualities and rigidity, bamboo is becoming increasingly popular as a frame material for bikes. It also certainly has a distinctive "organic" look, although some people might find it a little too Gilligan's Island-esque. That's why a team at England's Bamboo Bicycle Club has created what is claimed to be the world's first Aero Bamboo Bike.
Led by designers James Marr and Emanuele Giglio, the team started by splitting pieces of bamboo length-wise. This gave them an assortment of concave lengths, in various wall curvatures and thicknesses.
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These lengths were then mixed and matched so that once they were bonded to one another along the sides, they would create sections of frame tubing in the desired shapes and diameters – the top tube, seat tube and down tube are each made from three lengths of bamboo, joined together laterally. Those composite tubes were in turn joined to one another using a mix of epoxy and flax fiber, serving the same purpose as lugs.
Once everything was put together, the distinctive ring-like ridges on the bamboo (along with the seams between the lengths) were then sanded down, after which coatings of paint and clear lacquer were applied. As can be seen, the result is far sleeker and less rustic-looking than a traditional bamboo bike.
The frame weighs 1.3 kg (2.9 lb), and is equipped with Shimano Ultegra components. Marr tells us that while there are no plans to produce the Aero Bamboo Bike commercially, his group may indeed offer a DIY kit at a future date.
"The primary objective of the build was to create a lightweight-racing frame, which would emulate existing bikes on the market but in a sustainable material, which can be grown and recycled anywhere in the world," he tells us.
For the time being, the one-and-only currently-existing model can be seen on display at the Cycle Revolution exhibition in London's Design Museum.
Source: Bamboo Bicycle ClubView gallery - 4 images